The Nintendo 64 arrived on North American retail shelves Sept. 29, 1996 — exactly 18 years ago today — but Nintendo Power subscribers got a glimpse of the console early, thanks to a VHS tape you can watch online.
In the summer of 1996, subscribers received the 15-minute video called "Change the System," which was basically an extended advertisement for the forthcoming $199.95 successor to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It touts features like the N64's four controller ports, Z-button and "too many other things that are just going to blow your mind." As chronicled by YouTube user aleckermit, it also shows the games that were in development for the 64-bit console.
In particular, Ken Lobb, who was head of game development at Nintendo of America at the time, gives an extended look at Super Mario 64, showing off things like Mario's then-new jumping moves and his ability to tiptoe and run in a 360-degree circle, thanks to the N64 controller's analog stick. Stick around, and you'll get to see extended previews from pre-release versions of Pilotwings 64 and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
A sizzle reel at the end of the video shows off well-known games like GoldenEye 007 and Star Fox 64. You'll also catch glimpse of Kirby's Air Ride, which wound up skipping the N64 and being released in 2003 on its successor, the Nintendo GameCube. After the credits, you'll find a teaser for Killer Instinct.
Needless to say, all of the games really impress the mid-'90s, Zack Morris lookalike actor wearing the hoodie.